How long do I have to file a claim, and how fast does the carrier have to pay me?
According to the Carmack Amendment, you have 9 months to file a claim, from the date that the shipment is delivered. For lost shipments, you have 9 months to file from the date that the shipment was reasonably expected to arrive.
For concealed damage, you have 5 days to file. (You can technically file a concealed damage claim later than this, but it becomes much, much more difficult because after the 5 days, the onus falls on you to prove that the damage did not happen after delivery.)
The carrier has 120 days to either pay or decline to pay your claim. They also must acknowledge receipt of your claim within 30 days.
Note that these dates apply to the United States, other countries will have different deadlines.
Disclaimer: The above information is not legal advice; neither CDS, Dick Lucarelli, nor TranSolutions Inc accept any liability for its content.